CAPTIVATING MULTIGENRE GEM: Hearing the name VRSTY, you might think of the multitalented R&B and rock band that is quickly turning heads in the scene currently. It’s not an act that you can pigeonhole their sound into one genre. While their EP Cloud City was a kaleidoscopic treasure that proved they were capable of mastering a myriad of soundscapes on one record, they also take heavy music to places it hasn’t been before. If that meant breaking a few industry rules, then so be it.
While the humble beginnings of this band all started with Varela looking up to such figures as Usher and Michael Jackson and a From First to Last concert, what blossomed was a band that is not afraid to tread new territories while enjoying the process. After the high-octane success of 2020’s Cloud City comes their beautiful new release Welcome Home. With infectious hooks, melodic vocals, and heavy guitar work at every turn, Welcome Home feels effortless, fun, and above all genuine.
The album starts with an ethereal explosive number, “Finesse ft. Notions.” With stormy percussive energy intertwined with massive guitar, Varela’s ariose vocals and the heavy guest vocals of Notions, it’s the perfect track to get things started for the LP. Another diamond of a track is “Paranoid.” A gorgeous dynamic ballad that contrasts canorous verses, planetary electronic soundscapes, and hypnotic choruses, “Paranoid” takes a step back from the heavier side of things and shows a more denuded side of VRSTY. “Love Sick” is another moment on the record that many will come back to again and again. Lyrically, one of the best tracks on Welcome Home, its magnetic singsong elements coupled with its kinetic and titanic instrumental finishing touches make this one of the best tracks on the record. Confident and engaging tracks such as “Hush” and “King of Pop” are the fifth to sixth last songs on Welcome Home, showing how genius the placement is on the record when it comes to balance.
Welcome Home is not just the debut full-length album for VRSTY, it represents a colorful centerpiece of musical orchestration that shows what multigenre rock can look and sound like when done well. Each song is engaging and keeps you entertained. You’re not thinking about how many genres they fit into one experience. You’re not thinking about where they fit in on the genre scale when you’re listening to this record. When you listen to Welcome Home, it immerses you in nothing but impressively crafted music made by talented musicians who love what they do. If that was the purpose of Welcome Home, it exceeds those expectations and more. ~ Sammie Starr